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Tigers 3, RoyaLLLLLLs 1

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Brad Keller deserved better.

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Detroit Tigers Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The losing streak is at 6. The 2-0 start feels like a year ago.

One of these days, they’ll make it to the second homestand of the year without having already gone through a brutal losing skid.

The Tigers beat the Royals, 3-1, to sweep the three-game series. The one time the bullpen kept its head on straight, the offense looked completely hapless.

Kansas City scored the first run of the game in the first inning, when Whit Merrifield hit a double to open the day. He was moved to third on an out and scored on another out, which was an RBI groundout by Alex Gordon.

Merrifield’s hitting streak is now 28 straight games, which puts him alone in second place for longest hitting streak in Royals history. He is two games away from tying George Brett’s team mark of 30 straight games with a hit.

After that point, the offense did... nothing. Tyson Ross completely shut them down, and Chris Owings wasn’t even out there to be the scapegoat. I guess we could make Lucas Duda the scapegoat, because nobody on the planet has any idea why he’s getting actual at bats for this team, but there wasn’t a player on the roster post-Merrifield’s double that had a clue what to do.

Ross allowed the one run in seven innings of five-hit ball. He struck out eight.

The Tigers got two runs against Brad Keller in the third on an RBI triple and a run-scoring double play, and they added a third on a two-out RBI single in the sixth. Keller wasn’t sharp, but he did a nice job hanging in there long enough to get a quality start. His final line: 6.0 innings, five hits, three runs, three strikeouts, and 109 pitches. He’s put forth three quality starts in three games this season, but he was tagged with the loss to drop to 1-1.

If you’re looking for a positive, the bullpen didn’t give up a run, which marks the first time all year that statement has been true. They had given up at least two runs in each of the first seven games. Jake Diekman wasn’t a train wreck. Brad Boxberger threw the ball well for the third night in a row, striking out the side. Maybe one day they’ll all get on the same page

The Royals are 2-6. They started 7-16 in 2017 and 3-16 last year. It’s like groundhog day.

Next up: Seattle comes to Kansas City for a week series. Felix Hernandez and Homer Bailey will dual in a battle of two pitchers that were good in 2013. First pitch on Monday night is set for 7:15 pm CDT.